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Page last updated on December 16, 2021 at 9:34 am

Cemetery Decorations

Bloomington Parks and Recreation reminds cemetery visitors of the rules and guidelines for grave decorations.

  1. Link to a two-page document with photographs of approved and unapproved types of cemetery decorations.
  2. Artificial and fresh-cut flowers and wreaths are permitted at all times in the cemetery. They must be firmly attached to the monuments or markers. No decorations may be placed on or anchored to the ground.
  3. Shepherd's hooks and glassware are not permitted at any time. All items must be placed securely on the monument so as not to present a hazard to cemetery workers or visitors.
  4. Flags placed in the cemetery the Saturday before Memorial Day will be removed four weeks after the holiday.

Interment Information

For interment costs or other information, contact Barb Dunbar at 812.349.3498 or

As of December 2021, all green burial plots at White Oak Cemetery have been sold, and no more are available.


Originally the United Presbyterian Cemetery, White Oak Cemetery was purchased by the City of Bloomington in 1914 and renamed White Oak in 1983.

For most of its history, the White Oak Cemetery was named the United Presbyterian Cemetery. The United Presbyterian Church (or its predecessor, the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church), was established in 1833 and built at early log church building on this site, which was given to the church by John Blair. The first burial in the adjoining cemetery was probably in 1837 (as stated in the November 1, 1898 issue of the local newspaper, the Republican Progress). This cemetery is thus one of the oldest in the country, having been started only 19 years after Monroe County was organized. Many of the pioneer church members, several being important figures in early Monroe County history, were buried here. These include names such as Fee, Wylie, Bryan, Gourley, Woodburn, and Henderson, important names in Monroe County and United Presbyterian Church history.

An article in the December 22, 1883 Bloomington Telephone notes that a substantial stone fence was placed around the cemetery through the efforts of James Strong. But less than 15 years later an article in the November 1, 1898 issue of the Republican Progess that the trustees of the church had put the cemetery up for sale. The article indicated that the burials had been removed to Rose Hill Cemetery. Many monuments in this cemetery did not immediately sell, as records indicate that the City of Bloomington purchased the property from the church of 1914. The city made improvements to the cemetery in 1982 including re-grading, landscaping, and installation of a new lawn on the east end. They gave the renovated cemetery the name White Oak Cemetery in 1983. The west part of the cemetery is still being used for burials.

An important date in the history of the cemetery was November 3, 1989. On that date the Bloomington Township Trustee, James Dawson, and his advisory board with the support of Bloomington Mayor Tomilea Allison dedicated the Pioneer Memorial. The memorial commemorates early settlers who were buried in small cemeteries that are now lost or destroyed, mostly in the name of "progress". The marker lists names of 132 early settlers buried in small cemeteries in Bloomington township from 1815 to 1947. Dawson also prepared a booklet with the names of people buried in those cemeteries.